High Court of Gauhati; Stays Arunachal Pradesh order on ban on Work Permits for Unvaccinated Persons

An order issued by the Arunachal Pradesh government on the 30th of June 2021 said that the temporary permits “for development work both in public and private sector” may be issued “provided such persons are vaccinated against Covid -19”, as temporarily the Inner Line Permit (ILP) will remain suspended,

The Gauhati High Court on Monday stayed a notification by the Arunachal Government regarding the matter and the court said that the notification discriminated between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons and violates the Articles 14,19 (1) (d) & 21 of the constitution.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Madan Mili who is a resident of Dibang Valley, a single judge bench of Justice Nani Tagi stated that such a classification between the un-vaccinated persons is not based on “intelligible differentia” which means difference capable of being understood. A factor that distinguishes or in a different state or class from another which is capable of being understood.

However, the petitioner argued that as per information gathered through RTI from the Health Ministry, Covid 19 vaccination is “not mandatory but voluntary”.

The State government submitted that because of the rising cases, the clause was a ” reasonable restriction” issued with the sole objective of containing the Covid-19 pandemic.

The court said ” There is no evidence available either in the record or public domain that Covid-19 vaccinated persons cannot be infected with the Covid-19 virus,  he or she cannot be a carrier of Covid-19 virus and consequently, a spreader of Covid -19 virus. In so far as the spread of Covid-19 virus to others is concerned, the Covid-19 vaccinated and the unvaccinated person or persons are the same”.

However, the next hearing by the court regarding the matter is scheduled for the 28th of July 2021.

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